1 Community Building and Engagement at McMaster

Building a Graduate Community of Support for Grad Students with Disabilities

Coordinated by the School of Graduate Studies, orientation and welcome sessions for students with disabilities who are entering a graduate program at McMaster University were held virtually in 2020-2021. These sessions provided all grad students in attendance an introduction to accessibility and accommodation services from Student Accessibility Services, as well as a community-building activity facilitated by MSU Maccess. The intent of this session was to build community and positive support among students transitioning into Masters or Ph.D. programs.

Contributors: Andrea Cole and Judi Pattison (School of Graduate Studies), Michelle Barr and Heidi-Lou Mitchell (Student Accessibility Services), and Emunah Woolf and Suzy (MSU Maccess)

Forming the McMaster Age-Friendly University Committee

In 2017, McMaster joined the Age-Friendly University (AFU) network, a global body comprised of higher education institutions committed to becoming more universally accessible. In 2019, the McMaster Age-Friendly University Committee was formed to develop ongoing strategies to ensure McMaster is a welcoming space for older adults. In 2021, committee members continue to meet and identify strategies to support older adults in accessing online platforms and programs, which has been priority work during COVID-19. Improving access for older adults improves access for everyone, and supports the University’s efforts to foster an accessible university community.

Contributors: McMaster Age-Friendly University Committee and McMaster Institute for Research on Aging

Relaunched Critical Mad and Disability DIScussions – MadChats: An Intro to Mad Studies

In June, the Disability Inclusion, Madness, Accessibility, and NeuroDiversity (DIMAND) Working Group under the President’s Advisory Committee on Building an Inclusive Community (PACBIC) facilitated the (re)launch of Critical Mad and Disability Discussions as a means of highlighting scholarly critical Mad and Disability Studies scholarship, and building scholarly community at McMaster for those interested and engaged in this work.

Attendees learned about Critical Mad Studies from its roots in the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement to our contemporary moment. Panelists Aisha Wilkes, Katrina Vogan, and Kaitlin Blanchard considered the organizing logic of the institution – psychiatric, carceral, and academic – through lived experience and archival research.

Contributors: Disability Inclusion, Madness, Accessibility, and NeuroDiversity (DIMAND) Working Group, Equity and Inclusion Office


The Annual Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Update Copyright © 2022 by McMaster University. All Rights Reserved.

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